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the Apollo Belvidere, she implores his succour almost as warmly as that damsel (Semele) who, more ambitious, made her prayer to Jupiter, and was burnt up in his embraces. If Apollo listen not to such pleadings, he has not warmth enough for any purpose.
The Young Voyageurs, 01 the Boy Hunters of the North. By Capt. MAYNE Reid, author of "The Boy Hunters," "The Desert Home,” &c. Boston : Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1854.--The previous volumes of our author, devoted to the equal illustration of natural history and of human adventure in strange situations and under unusual exigencies, were very attractive to the youthful reader. The volume before us is of the same character, and will be found quite as pleasing and instructive. Capt. Reid has quite a persuasive manner as a writer, and knows how to bring out his incidents in the most impressive style. He is singularly happy in such narratives as the present.
Essays on Philosophical Writers and other Men of Letters. By THOMAS DEQUINCEY, In two volumes. Boston: Ticknor Reed & Fields. 1854.—The subjects of these additional volumes of the works of the Opium Eater, are Sir Wm. Hamilton, Sir James Mackintosh, Kant, Herder, John Paul, Frederick Richter, Lessing, Bentley, and old Parr—a sufficient variety, surely; each of whom DeQuincey treats after his own wayward fashion--always with thought and keenness, but always with desultory temper, which provokes quite as often as it diverts. Of course, all who are possessed of the previous volumes of this series and edition, will procure these. To those to whom our author is unknown, we urge his acquaintance. They will find him mingling the reminiscent, the poet and philosopher in an odd manner; but they will never find him a dull companion, though sometimes a capricious one.
Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon, made under the direction of the Navy Department. By WM. LEWIS HERNDON, and LARDNER Gibbon, Lieutenants U. S. Navy. Part I. Maps in a supplementary volume. Washington : Rob’t Armstrong. 1854.--For a copy of this interesting report, we are indebted to the attention of Senator Butler, of this State. It is a compact volume, put forth in the usual slovenly style of Congressional publications, but upon rather better paper than usual. The trifle additional of cost, which is necessary to give us good library volumes, in these issues of government, ought surely not to be spared when we have a treasury so full that Congress is at a loss to know what to do with the money. Our pages have contained so much
material in relation to the Valley of the Amazon, and are destined to contain so much more from the hands of the most able contributors, that we need not touch the subject with our Editorial fingers. Enough to say that this volume does credit to the exploring officers, and is full of interest and information to the general reader. It is filled with lithographic sketches, which appeal to the eye in illustration of the text; and the maps accompanying enable us to read understandingly, and to trace out our progress at every step.
The Public and Domestic Life of the Rt. Hon. Edmund Burke. By Peter BURKE, Esq., of the Inner Temple. London: Ingrams, Cooke & Co. 1853.-We had occasion, recently, to commend the Life of Burke, by Prior, to the favour of our readers. The volume before us supplies the substance of the same material, but in different costume. This is designed for more popular use.
It does not cover so much ground, nor compass so many details; in short, is far less elaborate ; but is not less readable, and the narrative, interspersed as it is with wood cuts, will be found quite pleasant, and sufficiently full for all necessary purposes.
Cicero's Writings.—The Bohn Library has received some recent additions of great interest and value, none of which are more meritorious than the very neat and well translated treatises of the great master of Roman oratory.
Cicero's essays on the nature of the gods; on divination; on fate; on the republic; on the laws; and on standing for the consulship; constitute a body of literature which will always be found precious to the philosophical student, to the metaphysician, to the public man, and to the professional. In these, also, do you find the moral ideal to which the Roman intellect had reached at the culminating period in the history of that mighty empire. And, in this ideal, you find the data for a just estimate of the acquisitions of that race, and its claims to authority over the studies of all preceding races. Perhaps, in no similar body of literature can you find so much material for a just examination and knowledge of these acquisitions of the Romans. garded in this point of view, and without any reference to the intrinsic merits of these treatises as philosophical and literary essays, the value of this collection is sufficiently shown. But, in addition, no one need be told of the merits of Cicero as a philosopher, a statesman, and an essayist. The translation before us is a new and literal one, mostly from the pen of C. D. Yonge, B. A.
Poems and Parodies. By PHæBE CAREY. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1854.-We had the pleasure, some months ago, of meeting, in society at the North, with the two poetic sisters, Alice and Phæbe Caley-one, sad apparently, and in somewhat delicate health—Alice, we believe—the other buoyant, and looking as buxom as if she had never suffered once from the blasts of Apollo. Certainly, she did not wear that sad, sighing, sentimental expression which the vulgar world is very apt to anticipate always in the aspect of the damsel who lisps in song. These young ladies have acquired much American celebrity in a very short time. The value of this sudden American celebrity we called upon to decide; but, valueless or not, the very possession of it by our fair sisters imposes upon them the necessity of elaborating well before they publish. Poetry is an art which, beyond all others, perhaps, demands the labor limae ; unless, indeed, the genius be of a character so audacious and grand as to legitimate its own outlawries. This is not the case with either of our sisters, who must establish their claims by assiduous art, and dutiful study, and the exercise of a fancy carefully regulated and counselled to wing the thought--not fly away with it. Whatever the merits of Miss Phæbe Carey, as shown by the verses in this volume, we must, in limine, take occasion to say that she has not been sufficiently heedful of the pruning of her rose-tree. She has not done quite enough of clipping and filing, polishing and perfecting. Here, for example, in the very opening verse of the volume, there is a grammatical error:
“ Softly part away the tresses
From her forehead of white clay,
Let her pale hands lightly lay,” etc.
Now we are prepared to subscribe fully to the opinion which insists upon the imperative character of rhyme; but, unless the necessity is shown to be absolute, we cannot, for the life of us, consent to the sacrifice of the grammar to it. We are really of the notion that our author has no just right, and quite as little reason, to use her stylus with such mangling ferocity upon the mazard of poor old Lindley Murray. Had she simply taken bis proboscis between her taper fingers, and wrung it gently by way of giving emphasis to a sense of dove-coloured agony, we might bave suffered the case to go by default. But the proceeding here is quite too public, too audacious, too extreme-on the very first page--at the porch of the volume! Really, our poet betrays a shade too much of poetic outlawry; and we dread lest she brings upon her
self some harsh judgments hereafter. It is to spare her this danger that look
grave, and lift a solemn finger before her eyes. “Phæbe,” we say, “ take heed to thy grammar, look to thy verses, see that thy rhymes do not trespass upon thy rhetoric, to the utter confounding of thy fame !" As for devouring the damsel, after any savage critical fashion, Heaven forefend that we should be guilty of such gracelessness. Is thy servant, gentle reader, a dog that he should do this thing? No. We prefer rather to encourage where there is merit, and to show to our young beginners how to tread firmly along the unaccustomed way. And Phoebe Carey has a good deal of merit; and with hard working, and constant devotion, fasting, prayer and study, she may take rank with the best of the sweet singers in this our Israel, and make songs which shall serve for the singing of less gifted damsels for a hundred years to come; but there must be much work done first, and the study of much better models than those to which our author seems accustomed. Fugitive verses are dangerous exercises to those who deliberately undertake them as works. It scarcely seems proper that they should be works; and yet, if they lack the finish that can be supplied by work alone, we are apt to be more severe upon the poet than if he had failed at an epic. In great works, one is often forgiven for failure. In small works seldom. He who undertakes humbly betrays a very humble sort of talents when he fails in his effort. Hence, fugitive poetry involves a superior danger. We, at least, require the fugitive to make his toilet before he takes the highway. Better that our young authors should propose to themselves works-subjects and forms of composition which demand design, and exercise all the faculties —invention, thought, grouping, as well as fancy and good taste—than content themselves with small endeavours to illustrate by new fancies and rhymes an cient common-place. In the one case, even failure commands our respect, if we see that there has been painstaking, with a certain amount of talents and krowledge. In the other case, grant that all has been won that has been aimed at, and how small is the result? To sing, in tolerable verses, what has been sung a thousand times before, will hardly avail for amaranthine triumphs. Now, Miss Phoebe Carey is a very clever woman. This volume sufficiently proves it. But it proves morethat she has nowhere tasked her cleverness ;-unless, indeed, in the paro: dies of popular poets, which constitute one half of her volume; and which, at best, are very clever parodies. Of the first-the original half of her volume—the first thirteen pieces relate to death, the dying and the dead! Now, if anything could disarm the hostility of criticism in respect to fugitive poetry, it must be its various and capriciou
changes-the beauty of its caprices—its rapid transitions from grace to grace--and the joyous impulse, and airy brightness, of that fancy, which hovers about the realms of feeling and sentiment, and crowns them with hues of the rainbow, dipt in the freshness of dew and morning. To give us thirteen fugitives, consecutively, all draped in black, and sprinkt with ashes, is a little too sombrous for the season of rabbits and pairing doves. In plain terms, Miss Carey, if she will sit down to depict fugitive emotions and sentiments, must take care to group
them after such a fashion as will render the procession picturesque and attractive. To array all her folks in funereal guise, is to make us weary of the monotonous spectacle. But we must not dwell upon these dreary difficulties. Our
purpose is not to censure so much as to improve, and, contenting ourselves with the objections already urged, we give a single sample from the little volume—one of the best in it—which will sufficiently prove that the mind of Miss Phoebe Carey is worth quarrelling with--and this is no small compliment from a Reviewer. The piece which follows is simple and pretty, and the rhyme is neat and elastic.
I had drunk with life unsated,
Where the founts of pleasure burst;
And they mocked my spirit's thirst:
And I said, “life is a desert,
Hot, and measureless, and dry;
Though I pray, and faint, and die.”
Spake there then a friend and brother,
Rise, and roll the stone away;
In thy pathway every day.”
Then I said,—“My heart is sinful,
Very sinful was my speech;
Are too deep for me to reach."
And he answer'd—“Rise and labour-
Doubt and idleness is [are] death ;
With the strong hands of thy faith.”